If you haven’t heard about El Nido in Palawan, Philippines, then you truly have been living under a rock! This incredible destination has swept the travel world with constant waves and glimpses of Philippines hidden treasures.
TOP DESTINATIONS IN EL NIDO: Read about it HERE (Coming soon- Stay Tuned!)
To break it down simply, once you have reached this hidden paradise and have had time to settle in to your accommodation, and enjoyed a decent dinner by the beach, your next item on the to-do list is to actually book one of the many island tours that El Nido is famous for. To break it down simply, ALL tour operators in El Nido offer 4 island hopping tours: Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and Tour D. This is a review of Tour A, which we did in El Nido on our very second day.
TOUR OPERATOR: Since we arrived pretty late and exhausted, and didn’t fancy walking around town to find a Tour Deal (but also didn’t want the next day to go to waste!), we decided to book through our Hostel, who arranged our Tour A through their sister tour company called “AMOS”.
GOOD TO KNOW: Your Tour Company will usually arrange pick-up from your accommodation, between 8.00 to 9.00 a.m. Purchase a Water-proof Bag (plenty available in El Nido Streets!), get your swimsuits ready and purchase a pair of water-shoes if you are planning to do more than 1 tour (renting these shoes is 100 pesos per day, purchasing is around 250-00 pesos). Also, once you get to the beach/ boat pick-up point, please note that you’ll have to walk/ swim/ kayak to your Bangka (traditional tour boat).
AND IT BEGINS…
Nothing I say, type or write will be adequate enough to describe the first rush of blissful peace and anticipation that hit me as soon as we sailed out of the El Nido port and found ourselves in open water. The scene was absolutely gorgeous – the water was a gorgeous shade of deep midnight blue courtesy of it being a slightly cloudy day and everywhere we looked, beautiful limestone islets jutted out of the water. It is very reminiscent to Halong Bay – but much much more cleaner, fresher and un-spoilt.
Seven Commandos Beach
I am immensely grateful that our tour guide decided to do our Tour in reverse – that meant that we would be able to avoid the major crowds and experience more tranquility in our destinations. Our first destination was the Seven Commandos Beach.
Our next spot was this amazing little island, where we were served lunch. Shimizu Island is a beauty and so completely different from our previous destination, that we couldn’t wait to begin exploring.
Lunch was served by our fantastic crew, who discreetly prepared our feast whilst we all did our respective “stuff”. Fantastic and fresh food by the beach, need I say more?
Once we were fully satiated with lunch, our guide announced our first adventure spot on Tour A – the infamous Small Lagoon. Even approaching this place gave me the chills – I had only previously just witnessed its majestic beauty in pictures only. And let me tell you this – no picture will ever do this place justice, not mine, not yours, not even any professional ones you find on the internet!
The next stop on our itinerary was the other infamous Lagoon – the Big Lagoon! After our visit to Small Lagoon, I was expecting the Big Lagoon to just be a slightly bigger version of it. Boy, was I wrong! This was an all new ball game of its own! And with unique rock passages that you could explore by swimming or by kayak!
The final spot on our itinerary was the most adorable spot I have visited in the Philippines – the Secret Lagoon. By now my phone’s battery had died down, so I don’t have too much pictures of this exquisite wonder – still take a look below!
Did I love Tour A? Yes!
Do I recommend it? ABSO-defi-LUTELY!
Tips? Give yourself a day of rest before and after Tour A – this is an active Tour with lots of swimming, snorkeling and kayaking – being exhausted will just retract from your overall experience. I honestly wish I had a more relaxed time at El Nido instead of just rushing it with the tours, but hey, at least you can learn from my mistakes!
CURIOUS ABOUT EL NIDO TOUR B? WE DID THAT TOO! (Stay Tuned for our Next Update!)
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